Law Firm Internet Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Signing a long-term contract.

It amazes me how many SEO or PPC firms want their customers to sign 12 month, 24 month or even 36 month contracts. In a world where things change daily, signing a long-term contract seems like a bad idea. Furthermore, without any “escape” clause, what recourse do you have if they do not deliver on their promises?

You should find an Internet marketing firm that will allow you to work on a month by month or at least a quarter by quarter plan.

Of course you have to realize that your desired results can take 3-6 months or more, but this does not mean that benchmarks should not be established or that you should not expect measurable progress every month even in the beginning.

A reliable and professional Internet marketing firm will help you to set benchmarks and expectations that make sense for your law firm. If they will not commit to measurable benchmarks and goals then find someone who will.

Choosing a firm that also works for your competitors.

Would you hire an attorney that worked for the plaintiff AND the defendant? Of course not! Even the most honest attorney could not succeed at this task. When someone hires an attorney they expect that the attorney works for them and not their opponents or “competitors”. You should expect no less from your Internet marketing service provider. How can they help you get the top of Google for “auto accident attorney in Miami” if they have promised the same thing to 1,2 or 20 other firms? By the way, it has been my experience that Findlaw does this worse than anyone.A search marketing service provider (SEO or PPC) should only provide services for one law firm in a given city or region for each legal practice area. It’s Ok if they work for a family attorney in Denver and another family attorney in Kansas City, but unless two family law firms in Denver are going after very different types of clients they should not be using the same SEO or PPC service provider.

Believing a sales rep is truly out for your best interests.

Don’t get me wrong, there are good, honest salespeople out there, but they are being pressured to sell you anything and everything they can to keep their jobs. Their employer is pressuring them to sell you everything they can whether you need it or not, and whether or not it will help your law firm succeed-with long-term contracts too boot!
On top of that, most Internet marketing salespeople (even the ones who call themselves “consultants”) do not really understand how to help you develop and implement the solutions that will be the most effective and the most profitable for your firm.
Best case scenario is you meet with an honest salesperson who will do their best but will fall short or you get very lucky. The worst case scenario is they use scare tactics and actually lie to you about anything they can to get you to sign a long-term contract.

How do you combat this? Two ways:

  1. Educate yourself. This can be difficult, but books like “SEO for Dummies” can help and their are a number of training programs you can find online. MOZ, Wordtracker, Hubspot & C1-Partners offer honest to goodness Internet marketing training programs.
  2. Hire a true consultant who does not represent a big company, but will help you find the right solutions from your firm, which are often from multiple sources. Rarely does one company provide all of the services. The ones that say they do are more than likely outsourcing much of their work.